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The QHSR

The Quadrennial Homeland Security Review launches a new phase today.

The Office of Strategic Planning (OSP) is taking something that’s usually somewhat humdrum and using it to build a pretty cool new process.

Basically, based on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report, Congress mandated some time ago that DHS complete an internal review this year (and every four years hereafter) and report recommendations about strategy, programs, policies, and capabilities. But Congress left it up to OSP to determine just what that the review – the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) would look like.

The entire review will be unclassified, which makes it a little unconventional from the start. The whole process is also creatively set up in a way that acknowledges that many individuals—at multiple levels of government as well as outside the government—make decisions and provide expertise that contribute to homeland security.

Earlier this year, Secretary Napolitano invited representatives from every part of this broader homeland security community to contribute position papers to a public document library. This means that input from academics, experts, think tanks, professional associations, and more—all specialists in areas under the homeland security umbrella—all helped inform the QHSR’s frame of reference.

From there, the study groups—each made up of DHS officials and facilitated by an independent expert to ensure all viewpoints are represented and opinions heard—will examine focus areas (law enforcement and security, intelligence, etc.). Here’s where it gets really interesting, though: they’re going to be using a web-based collaborative dialogue platform for these studies, which means that all stakeholders, individuals or organizations with recognized homeland security roles and members of the general public can participate.

You can participate by logging on to http://www.homelandsecuritydialogue.org/ today to pre-register for the upcoming dialogues. Follow along, join the conversation, and share your ideas on what you think the study groups should focus on.

After all this, Secretary Napolitano and a 13-member Executive Committee (made up of the Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Director of National Intelligence, among others) will analyze the study groups’ recommendations and present their findings to Congress before we ring in the new year.

Web-based collaborative? Defining what DHS will look like for the next four years? Sounds like we'll have som New Year's resolutions.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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